Show me your mad face! Now act surprised!
If your kids are anything like mine, they get a huge kick out of making funny faces in the mirror and going through a range of expressions on command. Asking my kids to look confused, sleepy or bored will inevitably lead us all to fits of laughter and them begging me to give them another emotion to try out. They are also intrigued by the facial expressions of people in the books and magazines we read.
I think helping my kids identify emotions on the faces of people they see will also assist them with understanding the emotions of their friends, teachers, parents and themselves.With all this emphasis on understanding emotions from facial expressions, I thought it would be fun to put together a little funny faces flip book with a variety of facial features and see what kind of stories my kids could tell me about the faces they created.
Flip book supplies
Making your own funny faces flip book couldn’t be easier — all you need is some cardstock, scissors, a glue stick, hole punch, markers, 3 or 6 binder rings, a piece of cardboard (for the back) and some facial parts (eyes, noses, mouths). I used letter-sized white cardstock, cut in half width-wise and then again in thirds.
For the face parts, you have all kinds of options: (1) Cut them out of magazines (older kids can do this on their own); (2) Use stickers, googly eyes or foam face parts from your local craft store; (3) Print out stock photos of faces from the internet; (4) Draw your own; (5) Use your own photos your kids and family members; or (6) Use our free printable of a few face parts (download the PDF here).
Assembling the book
With your kids’ help, use a glue stick to place the eyes, noses and mouths on individual pieces of card stock. Punch one or two holes on the left side of each piece of paper. If you use one hole, the paper will slide around in the book more, but it’ll still work. Two holes (spaced wide apart) work best. Stack all the eyes together and place the sheet of cardboard (or card stock or whatever you want to use for the back) behind the eyes and use the ring clips to secure. Do the same for the noses and the mouths. If you have extra card stock, add a few blank cards to the back of the stack of each category and add/draw more as you play. You can also add a front cover if you want (optional).
Playing with the book
My preschooler loved this book. He thought it was so much fun making different face combos and then giving each one a name and a silly voice. We talked about the different expressions and what feelings each person we created felt when they made that face. I asked him to make up funny stories about the faces and turned them into characters. We made faces that looked like people we knew and mimicked some the silly expressions we created. If you use facial photos of people you know (kids, parents, grandparents), try to recreate those faces! My son liked that we had a variety of media in the book – that they were not all photos of real faces, but a mixture of cartoonish features, drawn features and real parts. I wish I would have included some animal face parts (e.g. cat’s nose with whiskers, gorilla eyes, elephant trunk, fish mouth, etc.) because I think that would have made it even more fun for him.
This funny faces flip book is a great craft project to make when helping toddlers and preschoolers understand emotions, facial expressions and body parts. It’s a great way to encourage your older kids to use their imagination in creating unique characters, each with their own background story. It could also help when talking to your children of any age about diversity and how every person has their own unique facial features. With so many ways to use this book, it’ll be something that can grow with your child through the years.